|Old Wardour Castle Key Facts|
|County||Wiltshire (6 castles)|
|Directions||A few miles east of Shaftsbury, Can either be reached from the A350 or the A30 and is signposted from both of these major roads.|
|Categories||Later Stone Keep|
|Built in an age when castles were a statement of wealth rather than just for defence.|
|Remains||Not complete but much survives|
|Access to site||Only open at certain times|
|Possibly my favourite castle. Check out the geometric design and the grotto. Was the architect trying to leave a message?|
Some strange facts about Old Wardour CastleThere appear to be some strange connections between the fourteenth century Old Wardour Castle and ancient stone circle Stonehenge. The following series of pages describe these possible connections. They could all just be coincidences or there could be a good reason for them. You can decide.
Photo copyright: Geoff Bath
The first connection I discovered that links Old Wardour Castle and Stonehenge are their locations.
As part of the investigation into alignments of ancient sites Norman Lockyer and Alfred Watkins noted that Stonehenge is part of a line of ancient monuments stretching from the Charlton Clumps to the Clearbury Ring and beyond. This alignment also includes the ancient fort of Old Sarum and the Medieval Salisbury Cathedral. Commonly referred to as leys or ley lines, these lines connecting hill forts and ancient sites can be found all over the country. If they were created by ancient people their origin and purpose is not known.
Another line of hill forts stretches from the Sidbury Camp down to the Castle Ditches. It was when I extended this line to the south-west I found that it crossed the site of Old Wardour Castle. The distance between Stonehenge and Old Wardour Castle is approximately 15 miles as the crow flies.
The diagram below shows these lines.
It was obvious that Old Wardour Castle required further investigation.
|1393||Construction of Wardour Castle|
|The work on Wardour Castle (now Old Wardour Castle) was begun in this year. The architect in charge may have been William Wynford who was responsible for the changes made to Winchester Cathedral around about the same time. The castle is very unusual in that is hexagonal and aligned to the north-east.|
|Early Modern Period (1500-1800)|
|1643||May||Destruction of (Old) Wardour Castle|
|(Old) Wardour Castle was besieged by Sir Edward Hungerford and Edmund Ludlow for the Parliamentarians searching for Royalists. Lady Blanche Arundel within the castle lasted a week before surrendering. When Lord Arundell returned and found the castle in Parliamentarian control he laid siege to his own castle and had a mine detonated underneath it destroying the complete rear section of the building.|
Take control of a medieval trebuchet to destroy the enemy castle and capture their flag.